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|Title||Offering||Standing||Credits||Credits||When||F||W||S||Su||Description||Preparatory||Faculty||Days||Multiple Standings||Start Quarters||Open Quarters|
Amjad Faur, Eirik Steinhoff and Sarah Eltantawi
Signature Required: Spring
|Program||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||16||16||Day||F 15 Fall||W 16Winter||S 16Spring||This program will focus on some of the most intractable and convoluted crises engulfing the Middle East and North Africa in order to better understand their root causes on behalf of identifying potential solutions. Revolution, counter-revolution, civil war, theocracy, dictatorship, corruption, torture, iconoclasm, imperialism, dispossession, terrorism, sanctions, invasions, occupations, insurgencies, counter-insurgencies, clash of civilizations, clash of ignorance: these are a few of the central terms used in the news to describe the recent present in the region. What do these words mean? What caused the actions and events they refer to? Who are the major players, the agents of stability and change --- for better or worse? How are we to determine what is better or worse? What material or conceptual structures (from countries to theories) do we need to comprehend before we attempt to answer these questions? How can we develop a nuanced analytical language that will allow us to describe these complex crises and their causes over and against the myths and slogans they are so frequently reduced to? How, in other words, can we better understand the history that underlies the news, and what futures might such an understanding make possible?In the fall and winter quarters, students can look forward to a dynamic mix of lecture, seminar, and workshop anchored in a constellation of intensive reading, responsive writing, and active looking. An oscillating relationship between theorizing, doing things with words, and making things visible will serve as the engine of our transdisciplinary inquiry, which seeks to uncover overlooked relationships in order to increase the overall power and scope of our analysis.Our interdisciplinary inquiry will be anchored in the methods of diagramming and diagnosis. We will begin, for instance, by plotting, on a massive sheet of paper, the myriad interrelationships between sectarian, religious and ethnic populations of the region, tracking, in particular, the evolution of their alliances and conflicts. Students will maintain and update this diagram throughout the three quarters, and reflect on the labyrinthine web that constitutes the region in all its complexity. This diagram will act as a template from which students will begin to look for the connective tissues that may help to resolve the current climate of conflict. We will diagnose these conflicts and their major players not only through the analytical frameworks of geography, history, comparative religion, and political science, but also in light of aesthetic practices, such as poetry and fiction, on the one hand, and image-making (and image-breaking) of all shapes and sizes, on the other. What can art teach us that theory overlooks? What are the limits of disciplinary approaches forged in Europe and the U.S. when it comes to describing the crises convulsing the Middle East and North Africa? What other kinds of diagnosis might our diagrammatic approach allow us to come up with?The program will closely examine the dramatic sequence of uprisings most often referred to as “The Arab Spring” that shifted the dynamics of power and resistance across the region and that led to some of the most visible and volatile events unfolding in the area today (such as the Syrian civil war, the emergence of ISIS, Kurdish autonomy, and so on). We will study this sequence in relation to the ongoing geopolitical processes (such as imperialism, self-determination, and resource extraction) that led to the founding of the countries in the region in the first place, our premise being that “there is no just way in which the past can be quarantined from the present” (as Edward Said has argued).In the spring, students will form large blocs to begin the process of negotiating and proposing actions designed to ameliorate the regional conflicts we have been studying. This process could follow the form of model legislative bodies such as the U.N. or the Arab League, on the one hand, or the form of more impromptu assemblies of the sort that have sprung up in Tahrir Square or in autonomous Kurdish territory, on the other. By the end of spring quarter, students will have completed a complex diagnostic diagram of the region, and faculty will collate student recommendations to send to the Arab League, the U.N., and other pertinent bodies. Students will also have the opportunity to produce and curate images that relate to a representation of the Middle East and North Africa. Students will learn to apply the complexities of visual analysis to the visual languages that have helped create and support colonial aspirations and the creation of identity across the spectrum of the region’s varied populations.||Amjad Faur Eirik Steinhoff Sarah Eltantawi||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Fall||Fall Winter Spring|
Rose Jang, Wenhong Wang and Hirsh Diamant
|Program||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||16||16||Day||F 15 Fall||W 16Winter||S 16Spring||With China’s emergence as one of the world’s leading political players and economic powerhouses within the last four decades, there has been increasing international attention and news coverage on current Chinese political and economic developments. Today’s China, under a new generation of leadership ushering in many unprecedented reform programs, remains an enigma for most Westerners. The program aims to unravel part of that mystery through study of China's cultural roots and ideological foundations. We will dig the roots of Chinese culture by probing into Chinese religion and folklore and examining several different forms of Chinese artistic activities, including performing arts, visual arts, and arts of self-cultivation.In fall quarter, we will study the religions and folk culture of China. We will examine the formal histories and primary tenets of Chinese “Three Teachings”: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. Mythology, fairy tales, and fantasies, transmitted either orally or in written texts, will also inform our study as symbolic expressions of spiritual forces and religious aspirations within the cultural psyche. The combined energy of official and popular religions, spiritual and “superstitious” practices, folk and secular activities—with their literary and visual manifestations—has affected Chinese society and political structure over centuries. By reading translated texts and viewing different religious and cultural activities on film, we will try to discover and dissect the interlocked relationships between religion, spirituality, philosophy, and folk culture in the Chinese contexts.In winter quarter, we will focus on the arts of China, both traditional and modern. Chinese arts have long been a necessary vessel for the outpouring of spiritual and folk energy from all facets of Chinese life and society. We will read Chinese literature and drama that grew from the repertoire of popular stories, study Chinese theatre as a continuation of Chinese storytelling and acrobatic traditions, and delve into the spiritual core of Chinese visual arts. Students will read texts as well as engage in movement workshops and artistic experiments which connect cultural studies with practical, hands-on exercises.Faculty will take interested students to China either at the end of winter quarter or in spring quarter. These students will study Chinese performing arts in one of the most prestigious theatre schools in Beijing for four weeks, and spend two more weeks traveling to the south to continue exploring Chinese culture with a focus on religion, spirituality, and folk culture. Students who do not go to China will conduct independent research projects on Evergreen's campus.A Chinese language class will be embedded within the program. Students traveling to China will continue to study Chinese language at the institutions we will visit and through daily functions and encounters, which will provide incentives and opportunities for further language study.||Rose Jang Wenhong Wang Hirsh Diamant||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Fall||Fall Winter|
|Program||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||8||08||Evening and Weekend||Su 16 Session I Summer||Can consciousness be studied through trained subjective experience? In the recent decade, methodologies utilizing have evolved as a crucial tool in investigating the nature of consciousness. Exploring and comprehending the nature and function of human consciousness can help us to discover our innate potential at the deepest levels of advanced consciousness. Students in this program will integrate the findings of Western science with Eastern (Buddhist) philosophies of mind, and will engage in contemplative techniques such as systematic training in universal ethics, refined attention, mindfulness, analytical skills, and direct experience. Main areas of inquiry include the nature of mind and its functions, store-house consciousness, grosser and subtler mind, conceptual thought and non-conceptual awareness, attention, emotions and perceptions.||Jamyang Tsultrim||Mon Wed Sat||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Summer||Summer|
|Course||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||4||04||Evening and Weekend||F 15 Fall||Odissi, one of the major classical dances of India, combines both complex rhythmic patterns and expressive mime. This class will be devoted to the principles of Odissi dance, the synthesis of foot, wrist, hand and face movements in a lyrical flow to express the philosophy of yoga based dance. Throughout the quarter, we will study the music, religion, and history of Indian dance and culture.||Jamie Colley||Tue Thu Sat||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Fall||Fall|
|Course||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||4||04||Evening and Weekend||S 16Spring||Odissi, one of the major classical dances of India, combines both complex rhythmic patterns and expressive mime. This class will be devoted to the principles of Odissi dance, the synthesis of foot, wrist, hand and face movements in a lyrical flow to express the philosophy of yoga based dance. Throughout the quarter, we will study the music, religion, and history of Indian dance and culture.||Jamie Colley||Tue Thu Sat||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Spring||Spring|
|Course||FR–SRFreshmen–Senior||4||04||Evening||Su 16 Session I Summer||Religious “conversion” represents a profound change in practice and belief in relation to what a person conceives of as ultimate reality. The same is true for religious “deconversion.” This course examines the phenomenon and process of religious deconversion and its surprising results. In readings, discussion and fieldwork in the community, students will explore the social and theological implications - and opportunities - of this somewhat cohesive movement. In the United States, the religiously unaffiliated now represent 20% of the population (Catholics are 23%. Baptists are 17%). Young adults are at the forefront of this movement and complicate both the traditional assumption that it is “bad” to leave religion and whether the “spiritual but not religious” distinction is adequate to describe reality.The Latin root of conversion indicates a radical transformation, a “turn around.” In a very real sense, both the turning from and turning toward are alternative perspectives on the same process. De-conversion from is always also a conversion toward something. Leaving religion does not necessarily result in a non-religious identity.This course will explore this phenomenon across religious traditions and denominations in the United States and attempt to determine common reasons for de-conversion, common practices and the theologies that undergird them. To analyze these new religious identities, the course will utilize autobiography (others’ and our own), existing scholarship and fieldwork to identify the sources de-converts draw from and how these practices and beliefs are continuous or discontinuous with inherited religious traditions. Students will critically analyze and discuss existing literature and fieldwork in seminars and write brief weekly reviews to ultimately answer the question: what might we be missing by not widening the meaning of the word ‘religious?’||James Nagle||Mon Wed||Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Summer||Summer|
Nancy Koppelman and Trevor Speller
|Program||SO–SRSophomore–Senior||16||16||Day||F 15 Fall||W 16Winter||Are you concerned with the dignity of everyday people, skeptical or outright hostile to state power, troubled by hierarchy, compelled to purge corrupting influences, attracted to disciplined bodily habits, worried that society is ever more unethical, committed to influence minds and hearts, and convinced that “everything happens for a reason”? If so, you may be a “New Puritan.” You are warmly invited to take this program and find out. Students in The New Puritans are considering the history and culture of social change efforts in North America from the Puritans forward. Puritanism has changed since the 17 century, but its basic “structures of feeling,” to borrow a phrase from Raymond Williams, are still with us and are the subject of our studies. Winter quarter’s work will have two main threads. The first is our collection of common texts, which provide historical, literary, and theoretical frameworks for grasping a new politics of injustice which emerged in the 19 century and has shaped social change ever since. We will read works by Susan Howe, Alexis deTocqueville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, W. E. B. DuBois, Joan Kelly, Frederick Jackson Turner, William James, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Rebecca Harding Davis, Edith Wharton, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The second thread of The New Puritans is a major research project. The project will take the form of an analytic/critical/creative paper, which each student will develop with support from the program community. Projects will stem from topics of student interest related to reform movements, social movements, and/or social justice in the United States. Topics could include food justice, racial justice, immigrant rights, religion, trans-national activism, anti-poverty work, feminism, LGBTQ rights, climate change, environmentalism, education, and virtually any other topic of interest. Evergreen’s history, culture, and current social change efforts will be one of our sources for these projects. New students who already have works-in-progress are encouraged to join us. This program is an excellent choice for students who have studied political economy, social movements, and social justice, and who are interested in understanding the roots and character of Anglo-American social change efforts.||Nancy Koppelman Trevor Speller||Mon Wed Thu||Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR||Fall||Fall Winter|